Goofing off with toons

So, I’m trying to blend a character from a webcomic I’m a fan of called catharsis (you can find it here: CATHARSIS )

Anyways, here’s the results thus far… and I’ll begin finishing the wings soon and then begin rigging.

My ultimate plan is to have two believable animations: walking and flight

And perhaps some botched animations: facial expressions and such

Currently not liking the eyes very much or the horns on the head. Ech.

Put about 3 hours of solid modeling work into this… a third of that in the hands and feet.


awww…he’s cute! And with purple wings, very…kiddish. keep going!

Hey all… I’m trying to rig this fellow now, and I’m hoping things will look better soon… anyone got any ideas on what I can do to get rigging underway in blender 2.43

I ask because a lot of older tutorials won’t work now that IK is so different. My main struggle is this… when I use Ctrl-I to make an IK constraint… the empty never moves. And If I try to parent the empty to a bone along the chain, it seems to always screw the whole mechanism up. Anyone got any clues as to what I need to do in order to animate things well? Am I missing something? I assume that once you set an IK solver, you move the armature with the IK constraint like you would pose it normally, and the solver makes the posing go by faster by keeping things constrained for you. I don’t know what to do with the empties.

Anyhoo, thanks! and I’m going to keep searching the forums and online to see if I can find my answer.

ALSO! this render is using the new release candidate of blender with SSS… it looks great, dun it? :smiley:

Let me know if you want me to post what the bones currently look like, but I’m assuming the positions I chose are fine… it’s getting the IK solver to behave that is being a crabby pain in my back :mad:


Looks good. For rigging the wings, it might be worth trying what’s known as a “broken” hierachy. Instead of creating IK chains etc. you use individual bones and Empties. You can use copy location and stretch to constraints on the bones, that follow the empties (which are snapped to the bone ends). You then animate the empties. The advantage to this, is that because the bones aren’t directly linked, they have a greater range of movement.

For a “vanilla” IK chain, I would not use Empties … and would also avoid using empties for rigging unless you’re doing something “exotic” like connecting to verts via hooks or something.

Just use another disconnected bone for the IK target. You’re probably not setting the IK Chainlen from it’s default of 0, which is giving the strange results. For an example, if you have a 4 bone chain, “Shoulder”, “Bicep”, “ForeArm”,“Hand” and an unconnected bone “IK HandR”, select the “IK HandR” bone, then the Hand or ForeArm bone, press CTR-I, enter. Then to make the IK chain affect only the Hand,Forearm,Bicep, you’d set the chainlen to 3 if you have the IK on the Hand or 2 if you used the forearm.


I’d suggest using un-connected bones rather than empties, for the simple reason that all the bones will be collected into one Action and make animating much easier. Or create a second “control armature” whose bones are all IK targets for the first armature, then only animate the control armature, again taking advantage of the Action editor’s “consolidation” feature.


Thanks a lot for the info! I’ve only gotten ctrl-I to create empties, but I guess there’s a trick to it then.

Also, this is something I haven’t been able to figure out yet… Why would one want to name a constraint? I see the name box isn’t used at all in any tutorials.

I’ll play around with what you’ve told me and hopefully come up with some awesome rigging… the tip that both you and fatfinger suggested for the wings is a great point.

fatfinger, I’ll let you know how it goes… sounds like a neat idea, and I guess after goofing off, I’ll be sure to get what you mean about posing and freedom with the wings… it’s hard to forsee such things when you don’t have much experience ^ ^;


Also, this is something I haven’t been able to figure out yet… Why would one want to name a constraint? I see the name box isn’t used at all in any tutorials.

You don’t actually name the constraint. You provide the constraint with the name of the object that you want to constrain. So, if you want to constrain an empty to a bone, you put the constraint on the bone and then enter the name of the empty in the name field.

I uploaded a file that may help explain it better.

It’s just a basic sort of wing shape with the bone setup I described and some basic animation.

Have fun !

Select the Ik Target bone, then SH-select the bone you want to have the IK constraint on, then press CTR-I, you’ll get the option to use “To Active Bone”.

It’s just a documentation feature. I use it occasionally when I’ve added several constraints to an object to remind me what they’re for.


fatfinger: Oy! the file you posted seems to be gone… err… I’ll try to watch this thread more often and perhaps snag it before it vaporizes.

Thanks for the info again… both to you and Mike_S

I’m hoping to post some simple animation soon! I’m loving blender a ton more now that I’m actually trying for animation.

Finally got around to doing a ton of work on the rigging… now I’m hitting the same stumbling block. I tried doing a lot of what you guys mentioned on the wings, and I’m still struggling… I want two things to really happen with the rig:

  • The wing folds as it approaches the body.

  • The wing flaps as the controls move up and down.

So, here’s what I’ve been playing with. I noticed that using an IK chain that folds in on itself will do a nice job of
causing folding. It really just needs to crumple, and even if it does crumple inconsistently, that’s pretty much what wings do anyways… they wrinkle. So The other part is the flapping. Well, I need three bones to span the wing to give me control over the wing’s pitch and other small things. It’s actually a much bigger headache to do that than I expected (and originally, I had thought the opposite would be the case… that the folding would be impossible and the flapping would be simple).

I feel like the best way to model a wing rig is to imagine the ‘fingers’ in it as being connected to eachother by springs… does that sound right? So, what I’m trying to do is find a way to get the folding frame to feedback into the flap posing rig… and if it works right, the folding rig should have the final say, and the flapping rig only applies when the wing expands enough.

Anyone got ideas?

I mean, I’d like something more than just “Use this method. Amen”. I’d like to see if you could help me understand why this rig isn’t what you prefer. If it is a good idea, I’d also love any feedback on why as well… my confidence has somewhat waned as I’ve continually pursued getting these gosh darn wings to fold for once.

I’ll attach images of the folding rig for the wing along with a couple for each limb. I don’t know how to do the face yet (rigging and skinning)… every single tutorial I’ve looked at has scared the crap out of me… I just look at the rigs other people did and the faces make me cry… it looks so obvious, but I’m still sort of confused as to how they did it.


oh, and I also looked at a lot of leg riggings in tutorials, and am now convinced I have no clue what I’m doing… but no one ever explained what the purpose of all those extra bones are, so it’s not like I’d be any better off trying to make a cookie cutter of a leg from someone’s tutorial when it’s not for the body they describe (I mean, all the other tuts I saw were for birds or humans… ? Sheesh… neither really apply for rremly… he goes from quadropedal to bipedal… and also flies… and he deforms like a cartoon character too… I simply can’t find any help for factoring all that in).

The fingers have small ‘NULL’ hooks in them for the IK solver… and I guess the reason I’m supposed to do that is to keep the solver pointed in the right direction? shrug But at least the tutorial explained it enough that I thought I was doing it right… heh.

This is the problem most come to when it comes to rigging. Now, speaking from my own experience, I simply make a new rig for everything. If there is a small chance that I can use a rig made previously I’ll hop on it. Like making two humans…they’d have the same rig, but anything else gets its own rig made from scratch. That way I can ensure the model I’m rigging will move the way I intend.
As far as finding a tutorial that explains why to do something instead of the old do as I do mentality you find in most…when you find one let me know becasue I’ve been looking for it too! The only way it clicked for me was to get someone to explain it to me in a 1 on 1 type setting (lol it was IM)

Thank you for the feedback then. I’ll keep at it. I had a small breakthrough today, and I’ll admit that the wing is NEARLY working now… and with only one handle, at that. But it really needs two… a flap and a fold control. I think that’s how I’ll do this.

The wing tip perfectly works as a flapping control. While it does cause wing folding, it’s minor and hardly adequate for what really happens when the wing actually folds. The other control, which helps with folding, is more of like a ‘knee direction’ control… depending on how you flex it, it sort of sets how ‘folded’ the wing will look when you try to make it flap. It’s pretty neato… but the accordian fold is very finicky. It works perfectly, and then it suddenly crashes… and I need to pinpoint the changes I made to make it work better the first time.

I’ll try to keep ya’ll posted on progress.